The Study of Secrets
by Cynthia Kuhn
Lila Maclean has devoted her professional career as an English professor to the study of the mysteries of a practically unknown author, Isabella Dare. Taking a sabbatical to finish the books she is writing and with high hopes of achieving tenure, Lila is staying in the guest cottage of the revered author who is known to her childhood chums as Bibi. As Lila’s time in Larkston draws to an end, a murder occurs and Bibi and her friends are implicated in the crime, especially as their past secrets unravel along with the disappearance of an early unpublished manuscript. A cold case is also woven into the current story.
Lila, a likable character, is called on to help discover the identity of the murderer. Although she irritates the local detective with her inquiries and suggestions, she does not step over any legal lines. As she works on the case, several of her friends from her college arrive as well as some surprise visitors. She also finds herself caught between the presidents of two colleges who both want to purchase Bibi’s property. Lila handles everything that arises with aplomb. She even conquers one tricky situation successfully with her “stone-cold teacher stare.”
If you like mysteries, education, and all things bookish, I think you’ll enjoy Cynthia Kuhn’s The Study of Secrets. Although it is not a holiday themed book, it focuses on an annual Christmas event so there are references to the large Victorian house beautifully decorated and set in a backdrop of snow.
I would like to extend my thanks to Edelweiss and Henery Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #5 in the Lila Maclean Academic Mystery Series, but works as a standalone. As the setting is not at Lila’s university, most of the characters are new to the reader anyway. Any crossover characters are introduced and integrated quite well.
Publication: May 26, 2020—Henery Press
“I enjoy learning new things.” “I do too. Especially when it involves reading. There is nothing like being plunged into unexpected action, thrilled by a beautiful sentence, or confronted by a new idea that changes your understanding of the the world.”
“…snow was nature’s way of decorating for the season.”
Perhaps it wasn’t that she was uncommonly capable of handling problems. Perhaps she was just gifted at seeming as though they didn’t bother her.”